Cullen international's Global Trends benchmark on open radio access networks (open RAN) covers Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union (EU), India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States (US).
Among the main findings of this research:
- Brazil, Japan, the UK, and the US issued strategies on open RAN, although specific measures to promote adoption of open RAN vary widely.
- Other governments, including several countries in Asia, opted for a more neutral approach, at least publicly, leaving open RAN discussions to industry.
- Around 30 major telecommunications groups, vendors, and technology companies, including from China, Europe, Japan, Korea, and the US, have taken the lead in open RAN standardisation work, in the context of two main industry initiatives, the O-RAN Alliance and the Telecom Infra Project (TIP).
- Large scale, cloud-native open RAN deployments are underway only in India (Vodafone Idea), Japan (NTT Docomo, Rakuten) and the US (DISH). Several other telecommunications groups, including MTN, Orange, Telefonica, and Vodafone, have carried out tests and small rural deployments across different continents.
Although open RAN revenues are growing rapidly by some estimates, they still represent a very small proportion of the global RAN market. It remains unclear whether the open RAN architecture will deliver on the promises of:
- increasing competition in the market for network equipment;
- reducing the total cost of ownership of mobile networks; and
- increasing security of communications.
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